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Oct 8, 2012

Meet the Master: Piet Mondrian

Well I have to admit that our school days are quickly filled with many things to do and blogging falls to the end of that list. That being said we did these studies a few weeks ago but it was still on my list of things to write about AND the kids learned a lot. So here's a quick post about our artist of week~ 
Piet Mondrian
 Step 1:  We start the lesson with a computer slide show while I read along with a script discussing the who, what, when, where, why, and how of each of the artists' work while at the same time discussing what the student sees and notices about the paintings. There are two things that I like about Meet the Masters 1)there are built in questions so that the teacher knows if the student is retaining anything. 2)There is a short 10 question test at the end of the slideshow asking various questions so again you know if you're student learned anything.
We learned about color and balance and how Mondrian used simple design to balance his pieces.
Composition III
New York City 1942 Oil on canvas
Portrait of Piet Mondrian
Broadway Boogie Woogie 1942-43
  Step 2: Learning from the artist. After we finished the slide show we worked through a four-page workbook practing balance and color.

Step 3: Art Activity. The art activity at the end of the unit really wrap the whole study in a nice way. My kids love pretending to be the artist and create these modern and exciting pieces especially since the art activity is not complicated and doesn't require a lot of supplies or steps. 

The end result: and calm pleased child. I think Junior, in particular, enjoyed this one because he is the typical first child that likes form, lines, and a clean process for pretty much everything including art. 

We really enjoyed this Piet Mondrian unit study,

Meet the Masters: Mary Cassatt

Well I have to admit that our school days are quickly filled with many things to do and blogging falls to the end of that list. That being said we did these studies a few weeks ago but it was still on my list of things to write about AND the kids learned a lot. So here's a quick post about our artist of week~ 
Mary Cassatt
Step 1: Slide Show Lesson; we went through the following slides and learned a lot about Mary, her technique, where she did her art, what she painted/drew with pastels, information about her life, family and friends such as Degas. Then followed up by a short quiz on the computer to recall what we learned.

 Step 2: A mini-student workbook practicing how she drew. Then we practiced exploring different ways to hold oil-pastels to make different strokes on paper such as "the flat stroke,' 'the diagonal stroke,' 'the edge stroke,' and 'the curved stroke.'

Step 3: Creating our own works of art. This is the part my kids look forward to every time we do an artist study. During this time we put to work the techniques we learned and create lovely art pieces for our classroom. The end result, pastel drawings of the hats Cassatt typically drew on her figures, so to speak ;)

At the end I suggested that he add flowers to his hat but Junior insisted that a men do not wear flowers on their hats and because he's right we left his hat plain with just the plaid design.

Great study with great potential for learning, Mary Cassatt.

Applied Science: Technology Part 3

  • Discovering how other organisms live without tools.
  • Exploring how machines help people work.
  • tool
  • machine
We like how the elephant uses his trunk to scratch his ears ;)
*An elephant uses its trunk as a hand. The trunk can carry a 600-pound (272-kilogram) log or an object as small as a coin. Elephants also breathe and smell with their trunks.
Students listen to a story about other organisms that use tools.
BACKGROUND: Children take tools and gadgets for granted because they are familiar objects in our society. They rarely think about what humans would do without them. Ask children if animals use tools? Make several mental pictures for the students such as a dog or cat that uses a can opener, or a horse that rides a bicycle. Children might chuckle, but you want the students to think about what do animals use to carry, break, or move things?
Early humans had to use twigs and stones as their tools to cut and move. Round stones and sticks allowed humans to move heavy objects. Certain rocks like obsidian could be faceted into cutting tools. Other rocks could be carved to grind corn and grain into meal. Humans had the ability to make tools that helped them to create new construction that other animals could not.
  1. Animals use their natural shape to help develop strategies to cope with the natural world. Use the book, An Elephant Never Forgets its Snorkel to illustrate how animals accomplish naturally what humans need to use tools or gadgets. You probably do not want to read the text to the children, but the illustrations help get the point across to the students. Use the information to help you understand.
  2. Below are examples of how to emphasize these gadgets using the illustrations in the book.
  1. A human uses a snorkel to breathe underwater, but an elephant "snorkels" with its trunk.
  2. Humans wear a rain coat to stay dry but ducks have waterproof feathers by using their body's oil.
  3. Humans built homes and high-rise buildings by using machines. African ants construct a home by making "cement" from their saliva.
  4. Humans protect their eyes by using sunglasses, a polar bear's eye "closes" down automatically when the sun gets too bright.
  1.  Have a discussion on how they think different tools were created. This session could be a wild side into how young children think things were invented.
Happy Science Homeschooling,
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